Skip to main content Accessibility help

Use of tomato and cucumber waste fruits in goat diets: effects on rumen fermentation and microbial communities in batch and continuous cultures

  • E. C. SOTO (a1), H. KHELIL (a1), M. D. CARRO (a2), D. R. YAÑEZ-RUIZ (a1) and E. MOLINA-ALCAIDE (a1)...


Two in vitro experiments were conducted to analyse the effects of replacing dietary barley grain with wastes of tomato and cucumber fruits and a 1 : 1 tomato : cucumber mixture on rumen fermentation characteristics and microbial abundance. The control (CON) substrate contained 250 g/kg of barley grain on a dry matter (DM) basis, and another 15 substrates were formulated by replacing 50, 100, 150, 200 or 250 g of barley grain/kg with the same amount (DM basis) of tomato or cucumber fruits or 1 : 1 tomato : cucumber mixture. In Expt 1, all substrates were incubated in batch cultures with rumen micro-organisms from goats for 24 h. Increasing amounts of tomato, cucumber and the mixture of both fruits in the substrate increased final pH and gas production, without changes in final ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N) concentrations, substrate degradability and total volatile fatty acid (VFA) production, indicating that there were no detrimental effects of any waste fruits on rumen fermentation. Therefore, in Expt 2 the substrates including 250 g of waste fruits (T250, C250 and M250 for tomato, cucumber and the mixture of both fruits, respectively) and the CON substrate were incubated in single-flow continuous-culture fermenters for 8 days. Total VFA production did not differ among substrates, but there were differences in VFA profile. Molar proportions of propionate, isobutyrate and isovalerate were lower and acetate : propionate ratio was greater for T250 compared with CON substrate. Fermentation of substrates containing cucumber (C250 and M250) resulted in lower proportions of acetate, isobutyrate and isovalerate and acetate : propionate ratio, but greater butyrate proportions than the CON substrate. Carbohydrate degradability and microbial N synthesis tended to be lower for substrates containing cucumber than for the CON substrate, but there were no differences between CON and T250 substrates. Abundance of total bacteria, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Ruminococcus flavefaciens, fungi, methanogenic archaea and protozoa were similar in fermenters fed T250 and CON substrates, but fermenters fed C250 and M250 substrates had lower abundances of R. flavefaciens, fungi and protozoa than those fed the CON substrate. Results indicated that tomato fruits could replace dietary barley grain up to 250 g/kg of substrate DM without noticeable effects on rumen fermentation and microbial populations, but the inclusion of cucumber fruits at 250 g/kg of substrate DM negatively affected some microbial populations as it tended to reduce microbial N synthesis and changed the VFA profile. More studies are needed to identify the dietary inclusion level of cucumber which produces no detrimental effects on rumen fermentation and microbial growth.


Corresponding author

* To whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email:


Hide All
Aghajanzadeh-Golshani, A., Maheri-Sis, N., Mirzaei-Aghsaghali, A. & Baradaran-Hasanzadeh, A. (2010). Comparison of nutritional value of tomato pomace and brewer's grain for ruminants using in vitro gas production technique. Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances 5, 4351.
ANSES (2008). Table CIQUAL 2008 (French Food Composition Table). France, Paris: Agence Nationale de Securite Sanitaire, de l'Alimentation, de l'Environnement et du Travail.
AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists) (2005). Official Methods of Analysis, 18th edn, Washington, DC: AOAC.
Ariza, P., Bach, A., Stern, M. D. & Hall, M. B. (2001). Effects of carbohydrates from citrus pulp and hominy feed on microbial fermentation in continuous culture. Journal of Animal Science 79, 27132718.
Balcells, J., Guada, J. A., Peiró, J. M. & Parker, D. S. (1992). Simultaneous determination of allantoin and oxypurines in biological fluids by high-performance liquid chromatography. Journal of Chromatography B: Biomedical Sciences & Applications 575, 153157.
Blümmel, M. & Ørskov, E. R. (1993). Comparison of in vitro gas production and nylon bag degradability of roughages in predicting feed intake in cattle. Animal Feed Science and Technology 40, 109119.
Demeyer, D. I. & Van Nevel, C. J. (1979). Effect of defaunation on the metabolism of rumen micro-organisms. British Journal of Nutrition 42, 515524.
Denek, N. & Can, A. (2006). Feeding value of wet tomato pomace ensiled with wheat straw and wheat grain for Awassi sheep. Small Ruminant Research 65, 260265.
Denman, S. E. & McSweeney, C. S. (2006). Development of a real-time PCR assay for monitoring anaerobic fungal and cellulolytic bacterial populations within the rumen. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 58, 572582.
Denman, S. E., Tomkins, N. W. & McSweeney, C. S. (2007). Quantitation and diversity analysis of ruminal methanogenic populations in response to the antimethanogenic compound bromochloromethane. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 62, 313322.
Fondevila, M., Guada, J. A., Gasa, J. & Castrillo, C. (1994). Tomato pomace as a protein supplement for growing lambs. Small Ruminant Research 13, 117126.
Getachew, G., Robinson, P. H., DePeters, E. J. & Taylor, S. J. (2004). Relationships between chemical composition, dry matter degradation and in vitro gas production of several ruminant feeds. Animal Feed Science and Technology 111, 5771.
Goering, H. K. & Van Soest, P. J. (1970). Forage Fiber Analyses (Apparatus, Reagents, Procedures, and Some Applications), Agriculture Handbook 379. Washington, DC: USDA – ARS.
Hume, I. D. (1970). Synthesis of microbial protein in the rumen. II. A response to higher volatile fatty acids. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 21, 297304.
Isac, M. D., García, M. A., Aguilera, J. F. & Molina-Alcaide, E. (1994). A comparative study of nutrient digestibility, kinetics of digestion and passage and rumen fermentation pattern in goats and sheep offered medium quality forages at the maintenance level of feeding. Archives of Animal Nutrition 46, 3750.
Maeda, H., Fujimoto, C., Haruki, Y., Maeda, T., Kokeguchi, S., Petelin, M., Arai, H., Tanimoto, I., Nishimura, F. & Takashiba, S. (2003). Quantitative real-time PCR using TaqMan and SYBR Green for Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, tetQ gene and total bacteria. FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology 39, 8186.
MARM (Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente) (2011). Avances de Superficies y Producciones de Cultivo. Madrid: Anuario de Estadística.
Mcdougall, E. I. (1948). Studies on ruminant saliva. 1. The composition and output of sheep's saliva. Biochemical Journal 43, 99109.
Miettinen, H. & Setälä, J. (1989). Design and development of a continuous culture system for studying rumen fermentation. Journal of Agricultural Science in Finland 61, 463473.
Molina-Alcaide, E., Martín-García, I., Moumen, A. & Carro, M. D. (2010). Ruminal fermentation, microbial growth and amino acid flow in single-flow continuous-culture fermenters fed a diet containing olive leaves. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 94, 227236.
Moumen, A., Yáñez-Ruiz, D. R., Martín-García, I. & Molina-Alcaide, E. (2008). Fermentation characteristics and microbial growth promoted by diets including two-phase olive cake in continuous fermenters. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 92, 917.
Obispo, N. E. & Dehority, B. A. (1999). Feasibility of using total purines as a marker for ruminal bacteria. Journal of Animal Science 77, 30843095.
Perez-Maldonado, R. A. & Norton, B. W. (1996). The effects of condensed tannins from Desmodium intortum and Calliandra calothyrsus on protein and carbohydrate digestion in sheep and goats. British Journal of Nutrition 76, 515533.
Prieto, C., Aguilera, J. F., Lara, L. & Fonollá, J. (1990). Protein and energy requirements for maintenance of indigenous granadina goats. British Journal of Nutrition 63, 155163.
Romero-Huelva, M. & Molina-Alcaide, E. (2013). Nutrient utilization, ruminal fermentation, microbial nitrogen flow, and methane emissions in goats fed diets including tomato and cucumber waste fruits. Journal of Animal Science 91, 914923.
Romero-Huelva, M., Ramos-Morales, E. & Molina-Alcaide, E. (2012). Nutrient utilization, ruminal fermentation, microbial abundances, and milk yield and composition in dairy goats fed diets including tomato and cucumber waste fruits. Journal of Dairy Science 95, 60156026.
Rymer, C., Huntington, J. A., Williams, B. A. & Givens, D. I. (2005). In vitro cumulative gas production techniques: history, methodological considerations and challenges. Animal Feed Science and Technology 123–124, 930.
SAS (2002). SAS User's Guide, 9.1 edn. Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc.
Sylvester, J. T., Karnati, S. K. R., Yu, Z., Morrison, M. & Firkins, J. L. (2004). Development of an assay to quantify rumen ciliate protozoal biomass in cows using real-time PCR. Journal of Nutrition 134, 33783384.
Van Soest, P. J., Wine, R. H. & Moore, L. A. (1966). Estimation of the true digestibility of forages by the in vitro digestion of cell walls. In Proceedings of the X International Grassland Congress (Ed. FGA), pp. 438441. Helsinki: Finnish Grassland Association.
Van Soest, P. J., Robertson, J. B. & Lewis, B. A. (1991). Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber, and non-starch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. Journal of Dairy Science 74, 35833597.
Ventura, M. R., Pieltain, M. C. & Castanon, J. I. R. (2009). Evaluation of tomato crop by-products as feed for goats. Animal Feed Science and Technology 154, 271275.
Wadhwa, M. & Bakshi, M. P. S. (2013). Utilization of Fruit and Vegetable Wastes as Livestock Feed and as Substrates for Generation of Other Value Added Products, RAP Publication 2013/04. Rome: FAO.
Wallace, R. J., Onodera, R. & Cotta, M. A. (1997). Metabolism of nitrogen-containing compounds. In The Rumen Microbial Ecosystem (Eds Hobson, P. N. & Stewart, C. S.), pp. 283328. London: Chapman & Hall.
Weatherburn, M. W. (1967). Phenol–hypochlorite reaction for determination of ammonia. Analytical Chemistry 39, 971974.
Yu, Z. & Morrison, M. (2004). Improved extraction of PCR-quality community DNA from digesta and fecal samples. BioTechniques 36, 808812.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed